So…EU Referendum

Lest we forget…we all go back to the polling stations in just six weeks to vote on whether the “United Kingdom” should leave the “European Union”.

At this point in time, I am undecided but the other five adult members of my family are…surprisingly in my view….voting to Leave.

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41 Responses to So…EU Referendum

  1. Oakleaf32 says:

    I’m voting to leave. I’ll guest I’m in the minority opinion in the nationalist/republican community but in my opinion you cannot be an Irish nationalist and support an even bigger empire over one we are already in.

    “Serve neither Queen nor Merkel…”

    • there are several different questions within the single question….
      Whats best for Ireland
      Whats best for Norn Iron
      WHats best for Scotland
      Whats best for me and mine.

  2. If I had a vote I’d be voting a strategic “Leave”. What might be bad for the 6 Cos. and 26 Cos. separately could be good for the 32 Cos. collectively. The loss of EU citizenship, funding, grants, open borders, free travel, etc. could boost the northern nationalist vote and attract a minority of cosmopolitan or wavering unionists. Brexit 2016, reunification 2022?

    • I agree with most of that…indeed all of it…which makes me very worried that both SF are very much in the “Remain” camp. I was struck last night that my family are very much leaning towards Leave.
      As I recall I voted NO in the 1976 Referendum. At heart I believe there is “unfinished business” before thinking of Europe. A “common market” is one thing but European Union and the incremental stealth is a different matter.
      In recent years we have seen two examples of Europe at its worst….the banking crisis and treatment of Ireland and Greece….and the migrant crisis where “Europe” enters into a blatant people trafficking agreement with Turkey….horrific human rights record and clearly being fast-tracked into the EU.
      Whatever way I vote, it will involve holding my nose…on one side Cameron, Osborne…on the other Arlene Foster, Boris Johnson, Kate Hoey, Michael Gove, Nigel Farage.
      Nor should anyone lose sight of the fact that this is a sordid affair to unite the Tory Party. I think the prime concern of any Labour Opposition is to either bring down the Tory government not bail them out.

      In Irish terms, a Leave vote will not affect the free movement of people between Ireland and Britain.
      Nor will it impose restrictions on people moving between Republic and Norn Iron…there is no Ministry of Home Affairs issuing limited number of permits. That ship has sailed.
      A return of “customs” posts or a unionist re-think on the border.
      Is a united Ireland more or less likely if Britain leaves the European Union? For nattionalists that should be the only consideration.
      Certainly, I cannot be swayed by the talk that a Brexit vote could lead to the break up of the United Kngdom….indeed a Scottish “yes” and and English “no” is good enough for me….as I have sought the break up of the United Kingdom all my adult life, I am indifferent to which component part breaks away first.
      Of course there is something “anti-establishment” in a Leave vote…and that also works for me.

      • Wolfe tone says:

        Couldn’t agree more. I am at a complete loss as to why SF are urging voters to stay in. I suspect they are simply backing their southern colleagues view point. Either that or the conspiracy theorists really are right what they say about the ‘republican leadership’?

      • The most charitable explanation is that they took a negative view of Europe when they were outsiders.
        Now that they are part of the Establishment, they take a different view.

  3. croiteir says:

    My word – this is a turn up. Here is me thinking it is best for nationalists in the long run to vote to leave, as that degenerate Lennon word have warbled – I’m not the only one. Brilliant.

    • Thats part of the problem isnt it? PEople voting YES and NO for very many reasons completely unconnected to the rhetoric of the “Big Debate”.
      My gut feeling is that “Leavers” are more motivated than “Remainers”. And I would not underestimate the anti-establishment vote.

  4. Sinn Féin supporter in County Tyrone says:

    I think — as Martin McGuinness has pointed out – we should not be blind to the benefits that local business and agriculture enjoy as part of the EU, that brings jobs and so forth.

    • So you would vote to remain?
      When did SF change their policy on EU?

      • Sinn Féin supporter in County Tyrone says:

        I think SF was originally against the EU as were many on the radical left.

        However that position has changed over time as the EU has started to stand up for workers rights and the environment.

        SF (and this perhaps puts it in distinction to the SDLP) is not uncritical of the EU but does see the benefits to local jobs and trade.

      • Well that version re-writes SF history.
        At the end of the day it is a YES or NO answer not “Yes but I am critical.”
        The real answer is that SF changed its mind when it got a sniff of being in power and saw the EU as a money maker.
        This is around the time they stopped being on “the radical left” and started being a poodle of DUP.

      • Sinn Féin supporter in County Tyrone says:

        Sinn Féin did not change its principles – the EU changed.

      • Well in fairness….neither EU or Sinn Féin have ever had principles.

      • Oakleaf32 says:

        Yeah the EU did change from an economic trading block to a political union. SF opposed it as the EC but now supports it as monstrous Federal project.

        It all boils down to money and using the EU to ride roughshod over national sovereignty to impose far left social policies on nations.

        So much for national sovereignty. Sinn Fein are now a party of gobalisation.

      • Yes. Money and power.

    • Oakleaf32 says:

      Sinn Fein and McGuiness in particular are no longer Irish nationalists/republicans. They are internationalist neo-liberals.

      Increasingly it’s no longer left v right but nationalists v gobalists.

      The only benefit the EU brings is for the political class and coporations. You will notice Sinn Fein changed its position on the EU once they got several MEPs elected. Gravy Train……

      • Sinn Féin supporter in County Tyrone says:

        I think that you will find that Sinn Féin has always argued it is not an uncritical friend of the EU. With that being said as Martin McGuinness points out there are important benefits in terms of trade barriers that benefit local small business – and also the benefits to small farmers.

      • No thats complete bollox.

      • Oakleaf32 says:

        My father is a small farmer and I’ll be voting to leave. How’d small farmers exist before the EU!!

      • Yes as soon as they got to Europe…they changed their minds.

      • Sinn Féin supporter in County Tyrone says:

        The EU is a friend to the farming community, to environmental protection.

        SF has also recently pointed out that Brexit would mean

        *negative implications for the protection of workers and other rights
        *financial losses of EU investment, subsidies and funds to the North worth 2.5 billion.
        *Huge loss of Foreign Direct Investment
        *huge loss of the North’s export capacity regarding access to EU, and global markets.

        Say what you like but what matters is real peoples lives and Sinn Fein is giving responsible/strategic leadership on this issue.

      • Oakleaf32 says:

        So what your saying is the Sinn Fein were wrong for 40 years and they came to this conclusion around the time they got MEPs elected.

        Sinn Fein as all the parties are raking in millions per year in wages and expenses. Not forgetting all those grants for community groups. Sold out for the pound and the Euro.

        “Will German, French or Dutch inscribe the epitaph of Emmet?

        When we have sold enough of Ireland to be but strangers in it.

        For What Died the Sons of Róisín, was it greed?”

      • Sinn Féin supporter in County Tyrone says:

        Oakleaf no I am saying that SF didn’t change but the EU did.

      • Or as the woman watching the parade go by…..”they are all out of step except my wee Johnny”

      • Oakleaf32 says:

        Yeah the EU did change from an economic trading block to a political union. SF opposed it as the EC but now supports it as monstrous Federal project.

        It all boils down to money and using the EU to ride roughshod over national sovereignty to impose far left social policies on nations.

        So much for national sovereignty. Sinn Fein are now a party of gobalisation.

      • All about money….and power.
        SF can say where the money goes

  5. Political Tourist says:

    Haven’t heard the term “small farmer” for decades.

  6. Nationalist says:

    SDLP is pro-Europe. If you break ranks, will they expel you.

    • SDLP is recommending a Remain vote but although overwhelmingly pro Europe (as you put it) I dont suppose the membership is 100%!in favour. I am certainly in a very small minority.
      I dont think I would be breaking ranks. Technically I have not paid my 2016 subscription although I have contributed to four different SDLP campaigns this year so its only a technicality. By any fair measurement, I am a member.
      I do not think I am important enough to be considered as “breaking ranks”. I am not a MLA, councillor, staff member, member of the Party Executive or officer of any branch. I have never spoken on a SDLP platform. Clearly this blog is supportive of SDLP but it is never totally uncritical which hopefully gives it a degree of credibility.
      I have not made up my mind either way on the Referendum.

    • croiteir says:

      Then they will let you in again as they are desperate.

  7. croiteir says:

    Europe is good for the environment? And you from Tyrone? I would have expected that from Stephen Agnew or some other townie. ever see the damage the SFP is doing? although I wonder if that is due to the local interpretation.

  8. hoboroad says:

    Economist David McWilliams has suggested that a United Kingdom exit from the EU could lead to a united Ireland

    A LEADING Irish economist has suggested that a UK exit from the European Union could lead to a united Ireland.

    David McWilliams said if the United Kingdom votes to leave the EU next month “it could start a domino effect – at the end of which is a united Ireland”.

    Mr McWilliams also said he believed “unionists have now an economic incentive to join a united Ireland because the union is impoverishing them”.

    Writing in the Sunday Business Post, Mr McWilliams: “Here is the possible scenario that will unfold if there’s a break-up of the UK. The English lead the British out of Europe.

    “The Scottish then go to the polls again, wanting to stay in Europe.

    “They have to leave the UK to stay in the EU, and by a small margin they vote to stay in Europe but leave the English. Not unfeasible.

    “The rump UK becomes an entity involving a eurosceptic England, a modestly pro-European but compliant Wales and an ever-divided Northern Ireland.

    “However it is a Northern Ireland shorn of its fraternal brothers, the Scots – in a union with the ambivalent English. There has never been the same cultural affinity between the English and the Northern Unionists.

    “Unlike many Southerners, my bonds with that part of the world are strong. Ethnically, without Scotland, the union of Northern Ireland and a multicultural but nationalistic little England is not particularly coherent.

    “All the while, the demographic forces are on the side of nationalism.”

    The economist and broadcaster suggested that “the union has been an economic calamity for everyone in the North”.

    “Well, in the distant past, there was good reason to believe that the union preserved living standards in the north, but this is a myth and has not been the case since 1990,” he wrote.

    “Indeed, the end of the Troubles, which should have marked the resurgence of the relative performance of the north, has actually delivered the opposite.

    “Relative to the south, the northern economy has fallen backwards since the guns were silenced. If there was an economic peace dividend, it went south.

    “Now with Brexit looming and the concrete and more profound underlying changes in demography, the issue of a united Ireland may be back on the table quicker than most of us imagined – or cared to dread.”

    He added: “Interestingly, unionists have now an economic incentive to join a united Ireland because the union is impoverishing them, but I suspect they’d prefer to get poor in a semi-detached UK rather than join a much more coherent all-Ireland economic endeavour.”

    • Its an interesting scenario. And one nationalists should consider.
      But it requires a “perfect storm”.
      The “UK” votes to leave but Scotland votes to remain. And nationalist in Norn Iron voting to Leave (even though Nationalist Parties are advocating Remain).
      It gets complicated if SNP says “remain” but secretly wants “UK” to leave.
      The Remain people say that the “economic” case been won…the IMF, Bank of England etc making the case and the Leave people (according to Remain people) are left with the emotional argument (sovreignty etc).

      I am now minded to vote to LEAVE.
      I am not really persuaded by the economic argument, one way or the other.
      My heart is telling me LEAVE. Its a vote that is not made BECAUSE I believe what politicians are saying. Its more IN SPITE OF what politicians are saying.
      The picture of George Osborne, Ed Balls and Vince Cable on TV …all telling me to vote REMAIN, merely petsuades me further to vote to LEAVE.
      Am I voting against the Establishment? Yes…but I wonder how many who say they will vote against the Establishment will actually do so in the polling stations. FEAR (as in Scotland) will play a part.
      To some extent, I dont care about membership of EU…what really annoys me is the EU being a part of me. It has no right to be part of me. I will never call myself European. I dont have any emotional attachment to it. I dont LOVE it…i have only detestation for its so called flag and so called anthem.
      Later this summer, I might watch (say) France versus Switzerland in the European Championships. I will not have any emotion invested in France.
      Later this summer (Olympics) I might watch a close finish in the 10,000 metres between (say) a Kenyan,a Mexican, a Vietnamese, a Norwegian and a German. Should I identify with the German?
      No…I cant feel any affection towards any nation but my own. And on a personal basis, I am not living in a post-nationalist world.
      I will take no part in building one.

      On a personal basis I want DAvid McWilliams to be right. And I think its a better contribution than the Irish Government urging its citizens in England, Scotland, Wales to make sure they are on the register and to vote REMAIN.
      I dont think I can be persuaded by any rational argument.
      “PRogressives” will say I am a dinosaur. But there are a lot of dinosaurs on the register.
      Best scenario as I see it is a close vote either way. Cameron will certainly resign. But the best result is CONFUSION. BRitain’s difficulty is still Ireland’s opportunity.
      After the Referendum, waking up to a divided and and angry “United Kingdom” is still the option that I like best. I am not sure that the actual result matters as much as the aftermath.

      • Croiteir says:

        Cameron is going anyway. His promise of a referendum lead to the civil war in the Tory party. After this they need to regroup. They cannot do this under Cameron. He is now seen as divisive. He has to go.

      • Exactly.
        This whole Refeendum was is about Tory Unity. It has failed already and the war between two wings will get worse over next six weeks.
        Cameron is finished.

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